Ian McEwan: Ian McEwan is good at creepy. In fact, he's the master of creepy. Not gross creepy like Stephen King. No, Ian McEwan doesn't write about rabid devil dogs or possessed girls who are drenched in pig's blood at the prom. He writes stories about ordinary people whose dreary lives are invaded by horror, whose banal existences swerve out of control when they open the door to maniacs. McEwan's unbridled imagination won him a Whitbread Prize in 1987 for his novel The Child in Time; two of his books (including 1981's The Comfort of Strangers) have been short-listed for the Booker Prize. Tonight at 8:00 at Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) he reads from his latest book, Enduring Love, a tale of obsession and tolerance. Admission is free. Call 442-4408. (NK)
Touched by the Gospel: The New World Symphony gives you many reasons to say hallelujah tonight at 8:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theatre of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach). Grammy and Stellar Award-nominated singer Yolanda Adams joins guest conductor Isaiah Jackson and the orchestra, along with the 250-member Community Gospel Choir, for "Touched by the Gospel: A Symphonic and Choral Tapestry." The soul-stirring program consists of Brahms's Academic Festival Overture, George Walker's Lyric for strings, and Joseph Schwanter's "Daybreak of Freedom" from New Morning for the World. Further attempts to have you dancing in the aisles include gospel standards such as "His Eye Is on the Sparrow," "I Am Not Afraid," and "Lift Him Up." Tickets range from $15 to $50; proceeds will go to create a scholarship fund for black students pursuing a classical music degree. Call 673-3331. (NK)
Carnaval Miami: The frenzied extravaganza Carnaval Miami, sponsored by Kiwanis of Little Havana, is just beginning. For the next ten days more than a million spectators will participate in a whirlwind of events -- sports, concerts, parades, even a cooking contest. It all culminates March 8 in the world's largest street party, Calle Ocho. This evening at 7:00 an 8K footrace gets under way on SW Eighth Street, starting at 22nd Avenue. Tomorrow at 8:00 p.m. at the Orange Bowl (1501 NW Third Ave.), Raul Velasco of the Univision show Siempre en Domingo hosts Noche de Carnaval, a concert with singing sensations Olga Tanon, Pedro Fernandez, Laura Flores, Ricardo Montaner, El General, Cristian, and others. Sunday at noon Miami Beach's Ocean Drive (from Fifth to Fifteenth streets) is the site of Carnaval Miami South Beach, a miniature version of its sister event on the mainland, with floats, dancers, and music by Domingo Quinones, Miles Pena, Sergio Vargas, and Celia Cruz. Registration for the road race costs $20. Tickets for Noche de Carnaval range from $10 to $19. The South Beach festival is free. Call 644-8888. (NK)
New York, New York: See Thursday.
Doral-Ryder Open: This four-day golf tournament, which actually begins March 5, is more than just a single sporting event. It has expanded into a week of festivities, kicking off today with a concert on the green at the Doral Golf Resort and Spa (4400 NW 87th Ave.). Guest conductor Emil De Cou leads the New World Symphony and piano soloist Michael Linville in a program titled "A Salute to Music of the Americas." On the bill: music by Gershwin, Ellington, Copland, and Lecuona. Food and drink will be available; all you need do is bring a blanket, spread out at the eighteenth hole of the famous Blue Monster course, and listen to the orchestra, which will be performing in the lake -- make that on the lake, on a floating stage. Admission is free. Gates open at 4:30; the concert starts at 6:00 p.m. Call 477-4653. (NK)
South Beach Arts Festival: It was only a matter of time. Lincoln Road was pristine for way too long. Not any more. Like so many other charming areas across this town, the Road will be sullied by its very own arts festival. Is no patch of open space sacred? Is any zone off-limits? The organizers vow this will be a good one. What they promise: a juried art show welcoming more than 300 artists; live music from sitar man Stephan Mikes, guitarist Russell Donnellon, vocalist Emma Perugachi, and steel drummer Doug Walker; clowns, face painting, and the ubiquitous "activities for kids"; and best of all, a daylong wine tasting for a few bucks to benefit the Feeding the Mind Foundation, which helps battered women. If the event stinks, we encourage you to stagger over to honorary festival chairman Michael Caine and serenade him with a protracted rendition of "Alfie." The fun goes on today and tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Admission is free. Call 954-472-3755. (NK)